Armed and dangerous.
Armed and dangerous. Niffer Calderwood

Mudhoney, “One Bad Actor” (Sub Pop)

How many bands, 31 years into their careers, are still kicking out the righteous jams? You can probably count 'em on your hands and toes; given that there are millions of bands, that ain't many, Chester. You have to include Seattle mainstays Mudhoney among those elite elders who remain vital long past the point where most musicians wane or simply fade away.

They've never been the most eclectic group, but Mark Arm, Steve Turner, Guy Maddison, and Dan Peters have honed their something to one of the most reliable weapons in rock. When executed by veteran masters like these guys, rugged, no-frills, sardonic hard rock in the Stooges/MC5/Blue Cheer lineage has no expiration date.

Which brings us to "One Bad Actor," the lead single from Mudhoney's Morning in America (out September 20), a seven-track EP of material recorded during the sessions for the band’s 2018 album, Digital Garbage, including a cover of Leather Nun's "Ensam I Natt." Previously released on the ltd.-ed. split SPF30 7-inch with Hot Snakes, "One Bad Actor" begins with an oscillating keyboard freakout, a rarity in Mudhoney's large catalog. This sets the tone for a song that's as ominous as the thought of Trump carrying the nuclear football. That scenario seems to be the inspiration for Arm's lines: "I've lost the plot, now I'm gonna wing it/One bad actor versus the rest of the world/My middle finger is on the button/Itchin' to deliver the final concussion/Think of me when you become nothing (OOOOWWWW!)." The malevolent maelstrom Mudhoney manifest here is paradoxically comforting.

Morning in America will be released on 12-inch vinyl and available via streaming services. You can pre-order it now from Sub Pop. Also, the limited Loser Edition of Morning in America, on white vinyl marbled with black, is available from and select indie merchants in North America, UK, and Europe.